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Questions tagged [aesthetics]

Aesthetics is the study of the beautiful. It is one of the classical sub-disciplines of philosophy.

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What did Nietzsche mean by monsters and the abyss?

What do you think Nietzsche meant by "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." (...
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Is it ever possible to objectively state that a piece of music or film, or a genre, is better, or more artistically valid than another?

I first found Adorno and Horkheimer's critique of pop culture in the Culture Industry very compelling. Their idea that pop culture was factory produced and induced mindless consumerism as opposed to ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
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Has there been any philosophical investigation into the role of aesthetics in mathematics?

There are many mathematicians who talk about the particular beauty of a subject. They may say a particular result is pretty. It may be beautiful. It seems to me play a fundamental role in the ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
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Is mathematics an art?

I'm thinking of art in the traditional sense as visual, musical or literary. Mathematics certainly requires technique, and hence one can say craftmanship. But whereas the production of an art (at ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
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Who does Wil Wheaton represent in "Big Bang Theory"?

Following the aesthetics-challenge my first question on this site: In several episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" Wil Wheaton appears. In the credits it is stated that he plays "himself". But I have ...
Einer's user avatar
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Can computers be programmed to be 'creative'?

When a artist strokes their brush on a canvas and paints a beautiful work of art they may be referred as creative person. Or perhaps a musician or a writer. Does this creativeness come from the soul ...
Justin Tyme's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
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Is the value of art always contextual, or can it ever be inherent?

A few years back, I was in a modern art museum and saw this painting by Russian Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich: It seems to me that the value of this painting lies completely in the identity of ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
860 views

Is there a philosophical term or theory that defines or describes the idea of 'epiphany'?

I am new to the philosophy stack exchange, so please let me know if I need to clarify this question further. I am curious if there is a distinction made in philosophical fields between a typical step-...
cheepychappy's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
714 views

Was there support for panpsychism among the Romantic poets?

Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy and vocal critic of religion, is a supporter of panpsychism, the doctrine that consciousness arises because every inanimate particle actually ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
427 views

Why in the academic fields of art and design, the philosophy taught or mentioned is often Continental philosophy?

Is there any rationale to prefer, in academic fields of art, Continental philosophy over Analytic philosophy? I guess there might be a historical reason why philosophy evolved into two approaches but ...
Luna's user avatar
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What are some arguments for the golden ratio making things more aesthetically pleasing?

What are some (not necessarily good) arguments that painters, architects, designers, musicians, etc. basing their work on the golden ratio φ makes their work more aesthetically pleasing? I think these ...
Michael Smith's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
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Does postmodernism in art criticism collapse into relativism? What's its merit?

Postmodernism rejects the idea of a universal truth and in context of literary art criticism it shifts the focus from the writer or the author to the audience and from constant meaning to unstable one ...
Luna's user avatar
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Does doing comparative philosophy presuposse adopting cultural-relativism?

Assuming that there are several distinct philosophical traditions - say - Western, Chinese and Indian and that philosophers can actually compare the manner certain philosophical problems were handled ...
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Why does Nietzsche say in the Antichrist that Aristotle "saw in pity a sickly and dangerous state of mind"?

In The Antichrist, Nietzsche starts with a very heavy attack on the emotion of pity, making statements like: Pity stands in opposition to all the tonic passions that augment the energy of the feeling ...
commando's user avatar
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Agamben and grammatical shifters

While this collapse of metaphysics into ethics is increasingly evident as nihilism, contemporary thought has yet to escape from this condition. Agamben seeks to understand and ultimately escape this ...
AAAAA's user avatar
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3 answers
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Are there objective criteria for aesthetic judgment?

Are there objective criteria for judging whether or not artworks are good art? Should we at times appeal to moral values in assessing the quality of artwork? What major approaches are there for the ...
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7 votes
4 answers
596 views

Will fundamental physics eventually become an aesthetic construction and proceed on aesthetic grounds?

Consider the following argument: Proposition 1: The language of physics (as an empirical science) is mathematics. I think this should be uncontroversial to the majority of working physicists. ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
278 views

How is Adorno suggesting we respond to culture?

The way in which a girl accepts and keeps the obligatory date, the inflection on the telephone or in the most intimate situation, the choice of words in con versation, and the whole inner life as ...
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7 votes
2 answers
750 views

What does the philosopher Bruno Latour mean when he claims that we have never been modern?

I am trying to read Bruno Latour's paper "A cautious Prometheus? A few steps towards philosophy of design" but have no background in philosophy and so would be happy if someone could help me ...
Luna's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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Should people feel bad when the laugh at the misfortunes of others?

Aristotle wrote, As for Comedy, it is an imitation of men worse than the average; worse, however, not as regards any and every sort of fault, but only as regards one particular kind, the Ridiculous, ...
Michael Lee's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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Kant and the ornament

I am getting somewhat confused about Kant's stance about ornaments. In the Critique of Judgement, Kant seems to make a strict distinction between parergon (the add-ons to say cruely) and ergon (the ...
DHHU's user avatar
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Is it possible to use Wittgenstein's family resemblance approach to universals to separate high art from commercial art?

In a previous post, I asked whether it is possible to objectively compare the quality and validity of different pieces and forms of art. In the responses I got the overall response is that there is no ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is Nietzsche's opinion on ethical criticism of art?

Recently, I have been quite interested in the intersection of ethics and aesthetics, or to be more specific, ethical criticism of art. What would or did Nietzsche say about the following two problems?...
Josh Vo's user avatar
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6 votes
7 answers
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Are "aesthetic experiences" limited to art and music?

I was wondering whether philosophers consider aesthetic experiences to be something that permeate through a range of day to day experiences or if they're limited to art. For example, can learning/...
Jim stoke's user avatar
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9 answers
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Is art a form of communication?

I recently got into a discussion where the other person claimed that art is a form of communication. Bearing in mind that the definition of art is disputed, did any philosophers argue that a work ...
Mossmyr's user avatar
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2 answers
538 views

Is there really such a thing as art?

Suppose John asks Mary to show him a piece of art, and she shows him the Mona Lisa. In doing so, Mary seems to be claiming that the Mona Lisa is a piece of art—i.e., that the Mona Lisa has (or ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
476 views

What are some commonly accepted theories of aesthetics?

What are the commonly accepted theories of aesthetics? Other than Kant, I haven't read much work on the topic, so I wouldn't mind hearing suggestions of contemporary works on aesthetics.
That Guy's user avatar
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Can moral theories be "elegant" or beautiful or sublime?

It is often said that mathematics has some (peculiar) sort of beauty to its name. Whether beauty attaches as such primarily to the notation/style of mathematical writing, or to the interplay of the ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
759 views

Is trance music cathartic?

I've been thinking about catharsis (in the sense used in aesthetics) and I'm trying to feel out the edges of its accepted application. Trance music is often described using words such as "euphoric" ...
Lucas's user avatar
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5 votes
8 answers
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Can art be rated objectively?

I know this question possibly have been asked multiple times am really sorry, but this maybe is a little different. Art as we know is a simple one way humans express themselves. Using imagination and ...
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5 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is Architecture a Language?

I am puzzling over this question awhile, and I can’t find any good, clear reference on the topic without going way to deep into linguistics and getting too abstract. Can anybody explain to me if ...
user40208's user avatar
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3 answers
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Why do humans desire and admire beauty?

What is it that causes the human person to recognize beauty? I think its safe to say that everyone, to some extent, has experience some sort of perception of transcendent beauty. This recognition ...
Charles Alsobrook's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
395 views

Trichotomy in philosophy

In many philosophical works and ideas*, it seems like the number 3 gets a major, unexplained emphasis (mostly as a trichotomy). One of the major ideas that uses trichotomy is the Thesis-Antithesis-...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
736 views

Do any philosophers describe drama as fundamental to, or the essence of, the human condition?

Whenever I contemplate philosophy or science the convention that I call "name dropping" always evokes my experience of interpersonal drama. Here is my favorite example of name dropping: ...
SystemTheory's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
263 views

Philosophy of storytelling from non-western cultures

In the west, most of our thoughts on storytelling seem to originate and be influenced by Aristotle's Poetics, in one form or another. However, it seems that in other cultures storytelling is often ...
William Oliver's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
88 views

Aesthetically judging without concepts?

In the Second Moment of the Critique of Judgement, Kant writes about how the universality of the judgment of beauty is without concepts. I understand what he is doing here, but keep wondering whether ...
DHHU's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What did Hardy mean by "ugly mathematics"?

The following quote is attributed to G.H. Hardy, a British mathematician: The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, ...
user132181's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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What are some good resources on analytic aesthetics?

Always I see resources about view of continental-philosophy about aesthetics, is there any resource about view of analytic-philosophy about aesthetics? which philosopher of analytic-philosophy talks ...
Arash Mousavi's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
201 views

What does Heidegger mean "the closedness of earth"?

What does Heidegger mean "the closedness of earth" in 'the origin of the work of art' aka 'Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes'?
Ediacarer's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
295 views

What is the ontological status of a story plot?

A stage play, a movie, and a comic book can all have the same plot. And this despite being very different mediums physically, and even if they are set in completely different fictional universes. ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

For Kant, how is pleasure in beauty disinterested?

Kant states that pleasure in beauty is not based on desire and does not produce any. But don't we usually have a desire to have things that are beautiful in our lives? Such as "this car is beautiful! ...
btrballin's user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
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How can one measure the quality of art?

In art (music, painting, etc.), is it meaningful to say that this piece is better than this one? I can understand somebody saying "I have more feelings, I'm more touched when I listen to this song ...
anderstood's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
4k views

Does Art require an Audience?

Nietzsche consistently throughout his writings argues for a monological conception of art--art that does not seek "witnesses" or an audience. Not only did the episode with Wagner force Nietzsche to ...
Paradox Lost's user avatar
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4 votes
5 answers
631 views

Can mathematics be political?

The Liverpool Tate have an exhibition currently running that discusses the dialectic between politics and art - the situationists, Bertolt Brecht and earlier the patronage of the court. Mathematics, (...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
231 views

Is the laughable person beautiful?

All of us when see a laughable comedy star, for example: a fatty actor having a laughable face, i.e: physically laughable whose appearance makes us smile or laugh, we feel happiness and joy. Does this ...
salah's user avatar
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4 answers
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Why did Adorno hate the movies?

Adorno stated: Every visit to the cinema, despite the utmost watchfulness, leaves me dumber and worse than before. Minima Moralia 5
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Who has claimed that beauty is order?

Has anyone claimed that beauty is order, or anything close to that? Seems like quite a classical idea, but I don't know of any philosophers who say this.
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4 votes
4 answers
707 views

What is the enigma of art?

I've always been fascinated by the following constellated section of Adorno's Aesthetic Theory, probably because phenomenology is intuitively easier to get to grips with than a drawn out critical ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
333 views

Can mathematics be sublime?

The Sublime is sometime used as a synonym for subtle or sophisticated but with aesthetic overtones. In the original setting for this aesthetic notion it was a combination of Beauty & Greatness, ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
8k views

What is an "aesthetic experience"?

So, we're doing a project in philosophy class, discussing what exactly an "aesthetic experience" is. I understand, that it is a very personal definition that everybody has, but I'm sure there are some ...
Aram Becker's user avatar

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